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Canisius men’s basketball extends contract of coach Jim Baron

ALBANY – Canisius College rewarded men’s basketball coach Jim Baron for winning 72 games over the past four years by giving him a contract extension Thursday.

Baron, 61, agreed to a three-year deal, which places him under contract through the 2019-20 season, the college announced.

“In just a few short years, Jim has confirmed the wisdom of our original decision to hire him,” Canisius President John J. Hurley said in a statement. “He has been a true leader for our program and has created a winning culture here at Canisius. This contract extension is a great vote of confidence in Jim and in the direction of our program.”

Baron would have been entering the final year of his contract. In 29 seasons as a Division I head coach, he has a record of 461-429. His Canisius record stands at 72-60. In the five seasons before Baron arrived, Canisius went 52-102.

“Under the leadership of Jim Baron, our men’s basketball program has had success both on the court and in the classroom,” Maher said. “Jim is a proven winner and he demands the best from his student-athletes. We are excited about the future of our men’s basketball program under his leadership.”

Every one of Baron’s former Canisius players who has played for Baron in their senior season has earned their undergraduate degree, and two of them have received a master’s degree. Baron earned Atlantic 10 Conference coach of the year honors four times, once with St. Bonaventure and three times with Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, Canisius upgraded the title of assistant coach Pat Clarke to associate head coach. Clarke is in his 11th season as an aide to Baron. Clarke is an Olean native and a 1992 Bona graduate.